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Keeping Hope Alive

by Mandisa

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit my corner of the world in March 2020, I knew my mental health might be in trouble. As a single woman, living alone, I felt particularly vulnerable to depression and loneliness, and I feared I might be tempted to return to the dark of isolation and depression. That Easter, I meditated on the biblical account of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

I realized that every year I heard so much about Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but I found myself thinking about Saturday. I wondered what the disciples felt on that day. They had put their hope in Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah. As they watched their Rabbi breathe his last, their hope must have vanished. When the sun rose over Golgotha on Saturday morning, did it only bring with it dark memories of what happened the previous day? Were they alone and isolated? Did they gather to share stories and weep over their Rabbi’s death?

I am so thankful that the story doesn’t end on Saturday. As the disciples gathered on Sunday, imagine how the mood in the room shifted when Jesus suddenly appeared. I’m sure their disbelief and joy could not be contained! How wonderful that like the disciples, we can have hope at any time in any place simply because Jesus lives!

So many times in my life, I’ve failed to connect with the hope God offers me and focused, instead, on circumstances that seem hopeless. In Romans 15:13 Paul writes, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Our God gives us hope, joy and peace as we trust in Him. That can be the difficult part. Surrendering our worries and the hard parts of our lives is easier said than done. It’s one thing to trust Him on the good days, when things are going our way; it is quite another to trust Him with the scary diagnosis, frightening current events, or the wayward child.

And this verse is not just talking about a small ration of hope; it’s talking about so much hope that it overflows! This kind of hope is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. When I let my circumstances dictate my hope, I will never be filled with peace and joy, and overflowing with hope. Only as I set my eyes on Jesus can I experience grateful anticipation for the days ahead. My present reality may feel like Saturday, but Jesus is alive and Sunday’s on the way!

About the Book

In Out of the Dark, Grammy award-winning music artist Mandisa tells an inspiring story of peaks and valleys, trials and joys, wins and losses. Through her gripping narrative, she shows that our choice to trust God can not only overcome our need to understand why bad things happen but also help us to embrace a life of joy and freedom.


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